The new head of the Iraqi High Electoral Commission IHEC, Sarbast Mustafa Rasheed Amedi says that the post he occupies is usually decided by political parties, and that he was the only contender for the position this year. “The post was in the Kurds’ share [of appointed positions],” he told Rudaw. “When I ran for the post, I met no objections and no opposition. No one else ran for the post. All seven members of the IHEC voted for me. Amedi says that as head of IHEC he has the powers of a minister and he represents the government and parliament within the commission. He also rejects claims that IHEC interferes in the election process in favor of political parties. “The results of the elections have not been manipulated and will not be manipulated,” he says. “Elections take place at the lower level, not at the top level. The IHEC only makes decisions. However, if at the lower level results [at one particular polling site] are altered, then all the ballots will be disregarded. We try to maintain the maximum transparency and integrity in our work.
”Iraq’s election commission hasn’t enjoyed a positive reputation in the past. Often it has been described as a tool in the hands of the powerful political groups. But Amedi says that his staff are doing their best to prevent party interference in their performance.“If any organization complies with administrative and legal provisions, then it is unlikely that that organization will face any corruption and it will maintain its reputation,” he says. “As the new IHEC staff, we have pledged not to be corrupt and not to allow corruption into the IHEC. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, this is the second time a Kurd holds the position of head of the election commission. Both Amedi and his predecessor Faraj al-Haidari were said to have bias towards Kurdish parties, mainly the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP. But Amedi told Rudaw that he maintains neutrality in his post.“I would like to inform you all that I am an independent person,” he said. “Neither I, nor the previous head of the IHEC, nor the future ones, can increase the votes for any political party. Full Article: Rudaw in English….The Happening: Latest News and Multimedia about Kurdistan, Iraq and the World – New Iraqi Electoral Commission Head Promises Transparency.